Mucin gene expression (MUC1, MUC2, and MUC5/5AC) in nasal epithelial cells of cystic fibrosis, allergic rhinitis, and normal individuals.
The early pathogenic events in cystic fibrosis (CF) include colonization of Pseudomonas in the lung, airway inflammation, and mucus hypersecretion with airway obstruction. The primary mechanisms leading to chronic infection and inflammation are not well understood. One possible explanation for this cascade of events is increased or altered expression of one or more mucin (MUC) genes by CF cells in the respiratory tract. We compared expression levels of three mucin genes, MUC1, MUC2, and MUC5/5AC, known to be expressed in the respiratory tract of CF, allergic rhinitis, and normal individuals. Mucin transcript levels in nasal epithelial cells free from inflammation were quantitated by an MUC mRNA slot-blot method. This study revealed three major findings: (1) MUC5/5AC mRNA was expressed at five- to tenfold greater levels than MUC2 or MUC1 for all subjects. (2) MUC2 mRNA levels were similar among all subject groups. (3) In CF subjects, there was a trend toward reduced MUC5/5AC expression. When normalized to the levels of MUC2 expression in individual specimens, MUC5/5AC expression was reduced significantly in CF cells compared with normal cells. These data suggest that mucin gene expression is altered in noninflamed CF nasal cells.
Voynow, JA; Selby, DM; Rose, MC
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